Symbolic Geometry

shapes1Circles and squares and triangles and stars, oh my! No, this is not a post about your sugariffic breakfast cereal but about the symbolic—often esoteric—power of shapes. Before man carved pictographs and told the Gods’ tales in cuneiform, the meanings of shapes denoted meanings and were imbued with mystical power.

The following is a blog-quick look at a few common shapes.

Circle/sphere: 
  • universal symbol of completeness and perfection
  • God
  • the sphere of Heaven
  • circle of life
  • movements of the stars and heavens
  • Hindus and Buddhists associate it with birth, death, and rebirth
  • Wheel of law in Buddhism
  • A round table ( early management style first practiced by the legendary King Arthur ) denotes equality—all stakeholders having an equal share in solving a problem
  • Dante saw Hell as a series of concentric circles
  • A ring denotes a pledge or promise
  • a sphere represents the spiritual aspect of Heaven/Universe, which is why domes top many religious buildings
  • spirals are symbolic of energy
  • spirals drawn in a woman’s womb indicate fertility
  • the helix is also a fertility symbol and the double helix has become the visual representation of DNA—guess those ancients were on to something
Triangles—associated with the number 3
  • beginning, middle, and end
  • trinities of gods
  • body, soul, and spirit
  • man, woman, and child
  • an upward-pointing equilateral triage represents the male organ
  • fire
  • a down-ward pointing triangle is the symbol for a woman or her womanly parts
  • water
  • the base of a pyramid represents the earth; the apex, heaven
Square/cube
  • a pausing or suspension—not necessarily associated with negative aspects
  • stability
  • lasting perfection
  • the four directions
  • In Islam it represents the heart’s susceptibility to the divine, angelic, human, and diabolic forces
  • square halos in Christian art indicates the person was alive when painted
  • a cube is symbolic of the material universe
  • wisdom, veracity, and moral fortitude
  • the cloistered courtyard of religious structures indicate endurance and security
Stars
  • wisdom
  • spiritual counsel or advice
  • light of wisdom shining in the dark ( sinful ) world
  • mythological figures or deities
  • the dead
  • the Star of Bethlehem symbolizes Christ’s birth
  • the 5-pointed pentagram  pointed upward represents a human ( the top point is the head, 2 arms on the side points, 2 legs of the downward facing point )
  • flip the pentagram around and it’s the sign of the Devil—the two upward pointing points becoming the  Devil’s horns
  • the 6-pointed hexagram—2 interlocking triangles— is symbolic of: 1) the conjoining of male and female; 2) the four elements; 3) Star of David; and 4) Judaism
  • the merkabah is an ancient geometry dating back 3 thousand years. Some believe the shape has Egyptian origins. The symbol is shrouded in mystery and attributed with supernatural ( even divine ) power that allows one to enter enlightenment, zen, achieve spiritual and/or physical ascension, or even experience cosmic transport!
  • the 7-pointed heptagram is: 1) a magic symbol for pagans; 2) symbolic of the 7 days of creation; and 3) the 7 steps of enlightenment for Buddhists
Crosses—I could do another blog about the many different types of crosses—and probably will
  • Christianity
  • the shape predates Christianity
  • sacred shape to Ancient Egyptians  and Aztecs
  • more to come on crosses
Mandala—not a shape per se but a pattern
  • search for inner peace or spiritual enlightenment
  • pathway to the Divine or God
  • a symbolic trap for malevolent spirits
  • used as a tool or focal point in meditation
  • universe

mandala1A giant thank you to Sue O’Kieffe for allowing me to post her mandalas. For more of her gorgeous Sacred Circles click HERE.

mandala2

Have fun shaping up that novel!

 

Related Links:  Rock Your  WritingSymbolism & more symbols;
Click  Amazon link for novels.

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